The Human Side of Business

If I had a dollar for every time I've heard the phrase "it's just business" I would be wealthy. (Well, I would if I had invested said dollars into Cisco back in the day.)

The reality is that there is no such thing as 'just business' because business happens via interactions between people. (Maybe the better phrase would be 'its just people.')

This week, I've been on one of the most 'human' business trips I've taken in a long time.

Part of this is because I've been working with Michele--my counterpart in the San Diego office of my day job.  I am a firm believer that we are designed to work in community.  Any truly great idea I've ever had that was well-executed was made better by the creative input of others; so having Michele as my co-collaborator this week has made me better.

The other significant thing about this trip is that every person we've met with has participated in the relational. This relational context for business is important.  We spend at least eight to fourteen hours a day working.  We don't have a 'work life.'  We simply have a life.  And if there are no friendships in those long hours, then life can become thin and isolating making us duller rather than sharper.

Not only that but ideas are best developed and built upon not in sterile 'business' environments, but in rich, human settings.

One of the people we met this week suggested we talk and hike in the woods.  The setting was nothing short of magical and the conversations were creative and interesting. 

Being able to work in a context where you can pause and stare at the beauty of the city you are in or move slowly enough to actually hear what others are telling you is a powerful gift.  And one I believe creates more profit in the long-run.

With a week of gratitude coming up, I am particularly thankful for being able to work in a 'human' business.
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall